Smaller beef checkoff board proposed by USDA

As a result of low cattle inventory, USDA recommend reduce the number of members on the beef promotion and research board.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to reapportion membership on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board from 103 to 99 members. The law authorizing the board requires the board’s size to change with shifts in cattle inventory levels.

This decrease is due to changes in cattle inventories since the last board reapportionment in 2011. Under the proposal, domestic cattle producer representation on the board would decrease from 96 to 93, and importer representation would decrease from seven to six. The decrease is based on requirements of the Beef Promotion and Research Order, authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The Order provides for a review of geographic distribution of U.S. cattle inventories and the volume of imported cattle, beef, and beef products at least every three years and not more than every two years. Board membership then must be reapportioned accordingly.

A state or unit must have an inventory of 500,000 head of cattle to be represented on the board and is entitled to an additional member for each additional 1,000,000 head of cattle. In considering reapportionment, the board reviewed cattle inventories, as well as cattle, beef, and beef product import data, for 2010 through 2012. The revised representation would be effective with nominations in 2014 for appointments effective early in the year 2015.

 In addition, technical amendments would be made to update and correct information in the Order and regulations.

 Details of the proposed changes will appear in the March 25, 2014, Federal Register. Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov.

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